A Day in the Life – Thursday

Adayinthelife Today, instead of a recipe, I’m sharing something a bit different with you; I’m opening the window for you to take a peek at what a day in my life might look like. You’ll get to follow me around for a day. I always enjoy reading “A Day in the Life” posts on other blogs, so I thought it would be fun to share mine too. We humans are interesting creatures, and there’s something really fascinating about watching other people live life. I guess you could say that we’re nosy and that’s probably why reality tv, vloggers and everything else in that realm is so popular. I do think it’s a great way to connect and show a more personal side of myself so you can get to know me just a tad bit better.

Since I wear many different hats (wife, mother, nurse, blogger, homemaker) every day is very different.

Morning

On this particular Thursday, May 1st, the start of my day is actually the end of the previous day. I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse in the hospital, starting at 7 pm and ending at 7 am. This morning, I had arranged to leave work at 6:10, since Sergi needs to be at work earlier than usual.  On the way to and from work, I usually listen to some of my favorite podcasts like Focus on the Family, Family Life Today or Living on the Edge by Chip Ingram. This morning I listened to Chip Ingram’s broadcast series from last week, Less Stress :Finding Peace in a High Pressure World. It was so inspiring and encouraging. I highly recommend listening to it. 

I arrive home at 6:30 and see my husband already in the parking lot, packing his work van. IMG_0102 We go back inside together, he gathers the rest of his things and is off to work. Usually, we like to pray together in the mornings, but today he’s in a hurry, so we each pray separately:). We started this tradition when we first got married and it’s something that is really important to my husband, to me too, of course, but he always makes sure that we find time to pray together in the mornings, whenever we can. I love that about him!

photo-3 I hear the voices of my boys as soon as I come in the house. Branden is 2 1/2 months right now and Daniel is almost 7 months.

Branden is crying louder, so I feed him first and he is a happy camper again. photo-4 Meanwhile, Danny is cooing in his crib. I pick him up and feed him. Feeding Danny He is a slow eater, so I have time to read Romans chapter 8. It’s one of my favorites.

Actual screen shot of my phone as I was feeding Danny. Notice the time - 7:15 AM, and also that I only have 15% battery on my phone; it's almost dead after a 12 hour shift, plus I usually forget to fully charge it before going to work.

Actual screen shot of my phone as I was feeding Danny.
Notice the time – 7:15 AM, and also that I only have 15% battery on my phone; it’s almost dead after a 12 hour shift, plus I usually forget to fully charge it before going to work.

I play with the boys until about 8:30. Branden is in a good mood, smiling at me and Danny plays in his jumper for about 15 minutes, then with some of his other toys and in my lap too. It’s a constant shuffling of one boy to the other in my arms. Morning Playtime When they both settle down, I go change into something more comfortable (jeans and a simple shirt) and clean up the house a bit. I take out some Chicken Broth and chicken from the freezer so it will be defrosted by dinner time. My husband is such a thoughtful guy and tries to help out as much as he can, so he cleaned up last night, and I don’t have too much to do this morning. 

I cut up a honeydew melon that I bought two days before, while charging my cellphone and listening to more of the same series by Chip Ingram.

I cut up a honeydew melon that I bought two days before, while charging my cellphone and listening to more of the same series by Chip Ingram.

I make myself some scrambled eggs and toast, and have breakfast. 

If I'm eating my myself, 99% of the time I also read at the same time. In fact, it doesn't even feel right not to read when I'm eating. It's become such a habit, I can't even enjoy my food unless I'm holding a book.

If I’m eating by myself, 99% of the time I also read at the same time. In fact, it doesn’t even feel right not to read when I’m eating. It’s become such a habit, I can’t even enjoy my food unless I’m holding a book.

While I'm eating, Branden is sleeping and Danny is playing nearby.

While I’m eating, Branden is sleeping and Danny is playing nearby.

By 9:30, the boys are letting me know that they want some attention and Branden wants to eat again. I feed him a bottle of formula and then give Danny some baby oat cereal. Photo on 5-1-14 at 9.51 AM #4 He gets messy when he eats, so I change his outfit. I wash the dishes, feed Branden, walk around with him since he is cranky again. He’s had a cold all week and is either cranky or tired most of the time. He finally settles down. Before Errands By 11 am, they are both calm, fed and clean, so we head out to do some errands.

It’s not easy venturing out with two babies, and I avoid it as much as I can. We actually started to save quite a bit of money on groceries every month just because I hardly ever go shopping. I usually have Sergi stop by the store on his way home from work and only get bare necessities:). However, sometimes I just NEED to get out of the house because the walls are closing in!

Going out with two little ones that don't walk is a workout. I'm not strong enough to carry two carseats, so I usually hold one baby in a carrier and carry the other baby in the car seat.

Going out with two little ones that don’t walk is a workout. I’m not strong enough to carry two carseats, so I usually hold one baby in a carrier and carry the other baby in the carseat.

Afternoon

First stop, Once Upon a Child, a store where they have a good selection of gently used kids clothing, toys, furniture and equipment at up to 70% off retail. I find exactly what I’m looking for – a swing for Branden. We noticed that he loves to be rocked, so I think a swing will help with my sanity. Most days, especially when I’m busy, he will not stop crying unless I rock him or gently tap his bouncer seat. He usually calms down very quickly with some motion. It’s worth a try.

$35 for a barely used swing that’s in great shape –  I think it’s a good deal.

Next, we stop at the farmer’s market and pick up a few things.

Our last visit is to the library. Unfortunately, they don’t have the book that I want to check out. I want to browse  for some other things to read, but Danny puts up a ruckus and I quickly leave. Branden has fallen asleep so sweetly.

Both boys fall asleep in the car. Errands We come home around 1:40. Branden continues to sleep when we come home and Danny falls asleep too, right after I feed him another bottle of formula.

IMG_0096

Whenever we feed Danny, he holds onto our hands and keeps stroking our fingers while he’s eating. It’s the sweetest thing and melts my heart into a puddle.

Meanwhile, I put the groceries away and post a picture of the boys in their carseats on Instagram and Facebook.Then I throw in a load of laundry, (which includes the swing seat cover) and put the groceries away.

IMG_0705 Usually, I eat lunch at this time, but I don’t have much of an appetite when I’m tired, so I skip it today.

I try calling my sister, Karina, but she’s not picking up her phone, so I send her a text message instead. It’s actually her 18th birthday today! (It turns out that her sweetheart treated her to a birthday spa day, and she wasn’t allowed to have her cell phone there. She had already celebrated with the family last night, and today was being treated like royalty. Happy Birthday to my baby sister!)

Right around this time, we start a lengthy group message with my siblings and parents and on the home front, I start prepping dinner and then folding laundry.  IMG_0720 While I’m working, I’m watching Little House on the Prairie. I’m really tired, so it seems as though I’m working in slow motion. I try to plan really simple things for Thursdays, something that will keep me awake, but at the same time doesn’t require too much effort or concentration. Meals are easy too.

IMG_0104 At this point in the afternoon, I’m not exactly sure of the sequence of events, but I do know that I prepped and cooked dinner, changed and fed the boys, folded and put away the laundry, talked to both my Mom and Sergi on the phone. I also took pictures of our dinner.

While cooking, I try to clean as I go and load the dishwasher too.  (I also have the recipe for "Rustic Chicken With Carrots and Onions" pulled up on my laptop.)

While cooking, I try to clean as I go and load the dishwasher too.
(I also have the recipe for “Rustic Chicken With Carrots and Onions” pulled up on my laptop.)

All the ingredients for dinner are ready to go.

All the ingredients for dinner are ready to go.

Rice is cooking in the background to go along with the chicken dinner. Sergi was coming home much later than expected, to I had plenty of time to clean up. On most days, when Sergi walks in the door, dinner is still in process and the kitchen is a mess. Since he came home so much later than expected, I had time to clean up.

Rice is cooking in the background to go along with the chicken dinner. Sergi was coming home much later than expected, to I had plenty of time to clean up. On most days, when Sergi walks in the door, dinner is still in process and the kitchen is a mess.

Whenever I have a chance, I try to update pictures of the older recipes on my blog. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come with our food photography. I know how important great pictures are on a food blog. No matter how delicious a dish is, people won’t want to make it if the pictures don’t look appetizing. This is why I try to take better pictures of my older recipes.

Picture from 2 years ago

Picture from 2 years ago

Rustic Chicken With Carrots and Onions-1-3 I don’t do any new recipes on Thursdays – I need a fresh head for that and tons of energy to take step by step photos in addition to keeping the boys occupied, fed and changed.

Today, Branden sleeps much longer than usual, since he's been fighting that cold that I mentioned earlier. He's getting better, but he still slept a lot today, which worked out well for me.  He loves the new swing! I was right; motion is his thing.

Today, Branden sleeps much longer than usual, since he’s been fighting that cold that I mentioned earlier. He’s getting better, but he still slept a lot today, which worked out well for me.
He loves the new swing! I was right; motion is his thing.

Sergi comes home later than expected, 6:20 and by this time, I’m starving. While waiting for him, I snack on some of the melon that I cut up that morning and play with Danny.

IMG_0759

IMG_0140 I am feeding Danny some pureed vegetables when Sergi comes home, so he reheats our dinner, which has gotten cold by this time.  IMG_0143

IMG_0764 Evening

After enjoying our dinner, we look at some houses online that our real estate agent e-mailed us, narrow it down to fewer options and decide to drive over to look at some of the neighborhoods.

IMG_0161

It’s right after 8 when we head out the door. IMG_0168 The boys love the car, and it’s their bedtime anyway, so they both fall asleep almost immediately. It’s like a date night for us, driving around, talking. We even stopped to get some coffee and sweet treats. It’s just as if we’re at a romantic cafe, except it’s in our car:).

IMG_0170 Night

Before you know it, we hear our alarm clock, Branden, crying in the backseat. He has a built in schedule in his little body, and will start crying right on cue, every 2-3 hours, demanding food. By the time we reach home at 10:30, he is desperate and letting us know about it. He can take care of himself, this little man. Danny has woken up too. Who can sleep with so much racket? With a sob of relief, Branden quiets down as soon as Sergi gives him a bottle.

Meanwhile, I feed and change Danny into a clean diaper and clean, comfy pajamas. As soon as he finishes his bottle, I put him in his crib, tuck in his favorite blankie next to him and after stroking his hair and kissing him, I leave the room. That’s our routine and he falls asleep within 10 minutes.

I talk to my family in another long group message for a while, and Karina writes to tell us about her day and to thank us for blowing up her phone with birthday wishes:).

Sergi has had a really long week and his allergies are acting up, so he heads to bed at 11. I clean up the kitchen, load the dishwasher, pick up some things around the living room. It has been a really, really long day. Usually on Thursday I fall asleep much earlier and Sergi watches the boys and also feeds them, but since he wasn’t feeling good and I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow, we switch roles tonight.

Branden wakes up and is really fussy and definitely doesn’t feel good. I end up rocking him, feeding him, changing him and holding him for a long time, because he just won’t calm down. He finally falls asleep at 1:40. I take a quick shower and go to bed. 

(He was feeling much better today, thank God, and is our happy, smiling baby again.)

(He was feeling much better today, thank God, and is our happy, smiling baby again.)

So that was my day on Thursday.

Please don’t be alarmed that I didn’t sleep for more than 35 hours. This is a system I’ve worked out to help myself get back on a daytime routine after working a few nights in a row. If I sleep during the day after working a night shift, I can’t fall asleep at night and then it’s the same thing the next day. This way, I’m tired, but at least I sleep at night and then I’m on a day schedule for the rest of the week. The joys of working at night!

I am far from perfect and usually plan way too many things for myself on any given day:). Each day of the week is different from the other. For example, on Mondays I usually develop new recipe for the blog, on Tuesdays I prep for the next few days when I will be working at night and try to get ahead with housekeeping things and making enough food to have some leftovers for the next day. Since I work on Tuesday nights, I do the bare minimum on Wednesdays, try to get as much sleep as I can and just feed and change the boys and reheat leftovers for dinner. Sometimes there are appointments to go to, home visits by multiple foster care workers, guest coming for dinner, etc. Many times things don’t do as planned, unexpected things come up. I’m sure you can all relate in one way or another.

Life is a sum total of our daily activities, day in and day out, no matter how mundane and ordinary they may seem at the time we are living them.

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of satisfaction.” Leonardo da Vinci

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Comments

  1. Viktoriya says

    Olga, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for allowing us, readers, get a glimpse of your busy day. You are an inspiration to many working moms out there. It is amazing to see how you are juggling work, home and the kids. May God continue richly blessing your work, marriage and your growing boys.

  2. svetlana Demidova says

    Оля,спасибо тебе огромное за твой блог!!! очень много нужного и полезного нахожу для себя.А читая твой дневник и наблюдая за вашей жизнью, мне очень приятно осозновать,что вы стараетесь все делать в этой жизни правильно и с достоинством. Благословений всем вам, мудрости и дай вам Бог ,чтоб всегда у вас все было отлично!!!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Svetlana! It means so much for me to read your comment. I’m so glad that you are enjoying the blog.
      If anything good is in me, that is thanks to God:).

  3. yulia says

    Loved reading about your day! What podcast app do you use? I would like to listen to some of those podcasts.

  4. yelena says

    You are amazing! May God continue to give you daily strength. Just wanted to add that my daughter needs motion to fall asleep too ,she is 10 months and the only way she falls asleep is by me sitting on a huge inflatable exercise ball and bouncing while holding her with her head on my shoulder, nothing else works, I have tried everything. Just wanted to mention it in case you wanted to give it a try – especially on those hard nights when it seems like they will never fall asleep!

  5. Estera says

    OMG, my first thought was …”I don’t see anything written about her taking a nap” …I’m so glad you explained your sleeping schedule . LOL

    You my dear, are SUPER WOMAN & MOM. God must have spent a little extra time on you when HE created you :).
    You are amazing in all you do and I pray God will bless your wonderful family and YOU as a person with many heavenly blessings.

    Those babies are very blessed to have you as their mommy :)

    • says

      Ha ha! Thursdays are pretty crazy for me, but I’d rather fight through one day and have a normal schedule on the rest of my days off than be completely messed up on all my days off.
      Thanks for such a sweet comment. You’re making me blush.
      I do love my babies:).

  6. Victoria says

    Olga, thank you for sharing with us your day. You are such a great mommy. I’m so happy those adorable kids have such a great mom like you. They really are adorable, I can’t get enough of them. (So adorable the way Danny holds onto your hand when you feed him). May God bless your family!

  7. angelina howard says

    Hi olga!! Love the fact how detailed you were in your post. What a busy person you are. And thank you for continuing to serve us by blogging and posting new recipes, you are a blessing not only to your family but ours. You are so brave going out with two little ones to stores. The funny thing you mentioned how you are saving money since you dont shop as much. With our two daughters (7 months and 3 years old) i have not been doing as much grocery shopping as i used to, and i realized i am saving. lol. My husband is also a nursing student at PHCC (in pasco county, FL). Well thank you once again for your post. God bless you!

    • says

      Hi Angelina!
      I’m not as brave as it seems. I actually avoid going out as much as I can, but it’s necessary once in a while. And sometimes I just need to get out of the house.
      I have really great boys, though, so I can’t complain.
      And the saving money by not shopping as often – such a great outcome:). I try to only send my husband for very basic things that will be very easy for him to find, so that helps save money too.

  8. Nina says

    Hi, Dear Olga!

    I just want to say that after reading this post I love you even more and of course your blog too. I can see how busy you are. WOW!!!
    May GOD BLESS YOU RICHLY and GIVE you even more strength and wisdom. Full time work, double full time MOM and wife!!! We can see and understand that only GOD can give you all your talents, wisdom, creativity, harmony in everything, and etc…
    Please never give up!!!

    • says

      Thanks, Golda.
      I really am just a normal girl; many other women out there are also working Moms. It’s been my dream for so many years to be a Mom, I am really, really happy to enjoy this time now.

  9. Anya says

    It’s amazing to see God’s grace in your day-to-day life. Your life is full but it’s clear to see He is the strength and delight of your days. Those darling boys are so blessed to have you. Thank you for this inspirational post.

    • says

      God’s grace is the absolute perfect way to describe it, Anya! He is full of grace in my life and I couldn’t do it without His strength. I also have an incredibly supportive and helpful husband:).

  10. Lena says

    You are incredible. :) I can only hope to have half of your talents and abilities. :) Kuddos to you for being able to do so much! :)

    • says

      Thank you, Lena:). Sometimes, there are just busy seasons in life. (Especially with 2 tiny little ones. It will probably be easier when they are a little older.)

  11. Nata says

    Ok, being a night nurse myself (hence my comment at 3am lol), I could not help but comment on this post! You seriously have superpowers to be up and finctioning all day after working all night! I felt physically ill the couple times I had to stay up. I don’t think people understand how difficult it actually is unless they’ve done it themselves. Do you also stay up with the boys in between your shifts?
    May God continue to bless you and give you strength. Mommy hood is not easy but oh so worth it!

    • says

      It is hard on that Thursday:). I try to choose simple things on that day, so it’s enough to keep me awake but not requiring too much effort, since I’m already super tired. It’s all worth it if I can get on a normal daytime schedule for the rest of my days off:).
      In between shifts, I don’t do much of anything around the house, and sleep as much as I can. I still have to get up to feed the boys, change them, etc. but I keep them in the same room so I can hear them. Sometimes, my husband goes to work later so I can get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep before he goes to work. It’s not so bad.

  12. blueberry says

    Girl.. I have no words to say. I have no right to complain on anything being a stay-at-home mom… Thanks for sharing your day with us!!!

  13. Sashaa says

    Olechak , you are an inspiration ! I enjoy reading your blog immensely ! What a great job you are doing and what adorable babies !!!

  14. Р.К. says

    Ольга! Замечательный день! Вы не подумали написать свой рассказ в сообществе один мой день? ( http://odin-moy-den.livejournal.com/ ) Ваша потрясающая история будет вдохновением для очень многих поскольку Вы занимаетесь очень добрыми делами. Благослови вас, Господь!

    • says

      Hi P.K. Thanks for the support. No, I didn’t consider it. I’m not looking for publicity. I just enjoy sharing a small part of my life with my readers:).

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